Six square blocks of downtown Santa Rosa will receive 219 new parking meters soon after the City Council approved their purchase Tuesday.
The council unanimously approved $258,000 for the new meters and their installation despite the $55,000 drop in annual meter revenue that is expected from them.
Downtown merchants pressed the council to abandon the parking kiosks downtown and move to new credit-card-enabled single-space meters touted as more user friendly.
“I think that even though this is expensive, it's sorely needed,” said Coucilman Jake Ours.
Ours said it was clear that the kiosks were unpopular and he applauded the merchants for pressing the city to go in another direction.
“It's kind of painful when you have to admit that, yeah, you kind of made a mistake,” Ours said.
Many considered the kiosks inconvenient because they required a slip of paper be placed on their dashboards.
The new meters, which are already installed on Fourth Street, are more convenient but appear to generate less revenue because they don't “zero out” when someone leaves a space, meaning some downtown visitors will get freebies.